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Posted on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 11:40 a.m.

Today's Google 'doodle' salutes comics pioneer Winsor McCay, who studied in Ypsilanti

By Bob Needham

The folks at Google have outdone themselves with today's "doodle"—the drawing on the site's homepage that sometimes has an animated and/or interactive element to mark a special occasion.

Today's is a terrific, multi-layered, expanding comic strip/animation that salutes Winsor McCay, the great pioneering newspaper cartoonist best known for "Little Nemo in Slumberland."

And there's a local connection.

McCay was from Spring Lake, Mich., and went to college at Cleary's Business College (now Cleary University) and Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University). In fact, according to Wikipedia, MSNC provided McCay's only formal art training, from John Goodison.

The Google doodle celebrates the 107th anniversary of "Little Nemo." The comic, created in a time when a single strip could take up an entire newspaper page, followed the adventures of a young boy as he dreamed up incredible mystical landscapes.

McCay's pages were amazing, and the Google doodle is a worthy tribute—it's definitely worth checking out.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.



Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 10:44 p.m.

The Spring Lake Public Library has a nice set of pages about Mr. McCay too:


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

Is there a reason the title says 'Winsor McCray, who studied in Ypsilanti' As opposed to at Eastern Michigan University. Granted, he attended when it was the Michigan State Normal College I still feel that with the article being tagged with Eastern Michigan University it could have been used in the titled.

Bob Needham

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

The main reason was to encompass both his schools -- the references I've found aren't entirely clear, but my understanding is that he was more of a full-time student at Cleary's, which I think was also in Ypsilanti at the time. Plus, as you note, it wouldn't really be accurate to say he studied at EMU, since it wasn't EMU at the time.